The suppression of political parties is becoming an interesting feature of life in the managerial superstate known as the European Union It happened six years ago in Belgium, to the anti-immigration Vlaams Blok. And in London, High Court hearings have just (November 8th and 9th) that will determine the fate of the British National Party. Since judgment was reserved, we do not yet know whether BNP assets will be seized and whether party leader Nick Griffin, who is an elected Member of the European Parliament, will be sent to prison. We do know what has become of England: it is now a soft totalitarian police state.
For those who may be unaware of it, the British National Party is what its name says it is. It opposes immigration and the associated political correctness and attacks on freedom of speech and association. It also opposes British membership of the European Union and British involvement in wars of military aggression that do nothing to secure the peace and prosperity of the British people. And it is contemptuous of the claims about man-made climate change that are an excuse for the massive enrichment of ruling classes everywhere.
Not surprisingly, the BNP is not popular with the British ruling class. This has been hard at work for at least two generations on destroying a constitution that, since the High Middle Ages, had been uniquely effective at restraining power. This is a ruling class that rejoices in having put common law protections through a shredding machine; and in alienating sovereignty to a mass of foreign and even unknown organisations, to the point where democracy has become a joke; and in sponsoring the mass immigration needed to reduce working class living standards and to justify totalitarian "anti-racist" witch-hunts.
Yes, not surprisingly, the BNP is a witch that must be hunted. It is described as a "racist" party, and its members as violent and even psychopathic criminals. Its leader, Nick Griffin, is remarkable for his ability to assemble softly-spoken persons of quality into something like a baying mob.
To describe all the ways in which Mr. Griffin and his party are persecuted would take an essay which would also be a dissertation on the growth of the British police state. I have not the space to write such an essay. Therefore, I will look at the two chief current persecutions.
The ostensible reason for this is that members of the BNP cannot be trusted not to preach "hatred" in the classroom. Mr. Gove said:
"I don't believe that membership of the BNP is compatible with being a teacher. One of the things I plan to do is to allow headteachers and governing bodies the powers and confidence to be able to dismiss teachers engaging in extremist activity."[BNP members to be barred from teaching |Education secretary pledges new powers for heads to dismiss teachers who are members of groups with 'extremist tenor', by Jeevan Vasagar]
Gove did add that this permission to dismiss would also cover members of other "extremist" organisations. However, it is to be doubted if radical Moslems and members of Trotskyite groups will be at risk of losing their jobs. There are too many of them in teaching, and they are too well-organised and too well-connected.
The permission might eventually be extended to religious Jews and Christians who refuse to celebrate the rich diversity of sexual orientations that is part of our established faith in England. Or it might not. But the permission will certainly be used ruthlessly to seek out and remove all schoolteachers who are, or who might have been, members of the BNP.
There is in England a taxpayer-funded body called the Equality and Human Rights Commission. This was set up under the Equality Act 2006, and it ostensibly exists to ensure that people are treated fairly and have their rights respected. One of its main actual functions has been to sue the BNP to the verge of bankruptcy in the name of "human rights".
In August 2009, the Commission began proceedings against the BNP under sections 24 and 25(5) of the Equality Act, on the grounds that BNP membership was confined to natives of the British Isles and white foreigners. Apparently, it was a violation of the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended) that non-whites were not allowed to join a party committed to keeping Britain predominantly white.
Since then, the Commission has been lavishing the taxpayers' money on an action that is supposed to vindicate the right of non-whites to join the BNP—a questionable cause of action, bearing in mind that few non-whites can really be aching to join an organisation like the BNP, and bearing in mind that the British State overall has been running the biggest budget deficit in the civilised world.
But vindicating abstract rights has not been the purpose of the action. Its real purpose has been to shut down the BNP. The legal proceedings could achieve this in three ways:
First, the BNP might lose and be compelled to admit large numbers of non-white members. These could then exploit its internal structures or take further legal action until there was no more BNP.
Second, the BNP might lose and then be sued again for breach of the final order. This could result in forfeiture of all party assets and the jailing of Mr. Griffin.
Third, win or lose, the BNP might be forced into bankruptcy by the costs of defending an action that had unlimited funding.
This real purpose became absolutely clear in the March of 2010, when the BNP did change its rules to admit non-whites, and the Commission immediately moved to the second option in its strategy for destruction. The BNP imposed two conditions on new members to prevent flooding attempts. First, prospective members should be visited at home, to see if they were suitable for membership. Second, all members should declare support for the "continued creation, fostering, maintenance and existence" of an indigenous British race, and should support action towards "stemming and reversing" immigration. The Commission argued that these conditions amounted to "indirect racial discrimination".
The Commission won that round. On the 12th March 2010, a Judge outlawed the requirement for home visits, saying that this might lead to intimidation—though admitting that there was no evidence it ever had. He also outlawed the requirement to declare support for party principle and policy. He said:
"I hold that the BNP are likely to commit unlawful acts of discrimination within section 1b Race Relations Act 1976 in the terms on which they are prepared to admit persons to membership under the 12th addition of their constitution." [New BNP membership rules judged to be biased, Manchester Evening News, March 12, 2010]
The reason for this, the Judge went on, was that no non-white person could support these policies without compromising his "personal sense of self-worth and dignity as a member of their racial group".
And so the BNP changed its membership rules again—it would now accept members regardless of whether they agreed with its policies.
However, these conditions for membership were only suspended by the BNP, not removed. And so the Commission went to court again, this time arguing that the BNP was in contempt for not complying in full with the earlier judgment.
As I reported earlier, judgement has been reserved. We can, however, be sure that, if the Commission turns out to have lost, it will find some other grounds of continuing its taxpayer-funded vendetta against the BNP.
How much more of this the BNP can take before it goes bankrupt is hard to say. As of August 2010, the BNP was said to be £500,000 in debt. This is about a quarter of its annual income. Much of this debt appears to have been run up in legal costs.
Every time I write one of these articles about the persecution of the BNP, I get several dozen e-mails from people who claim that the party really is a national socialist organization, and that its recent conversion, under Nick Griffin, is a convenient lie.
I find this an irrelevant claim. I happen to believe that the BNP is a white nationalist organization. Even if it were not, though—even if the BNP leadership really did believe that non-whites were less than human and that the Holocaust never happened, but should have—the rights and wrongs of this case would be unchanged.
It is unfair to treat people in this manner. What has been done, and is being done, to the BNP is oppressive. It is not the sort of thing that happens in a functioning liberal democracy. In a liberal democracy, people have an unquestioned right to say whatever they please on public issues—and they do not suffer even official discrimination, let alone legal harassment. In a liberal democracy, they have an unquestioned right to associate or not with whomever they please—and are not subject to administrative and legal bullying about "inclusiveness" and the unacceptability of "hate". The fact that BNP members and the party itself are victims of state harassment—and, as said, there is much more than the two instances just given—indicates just how much England has moved towards totalitarianism.
I go further. If Nick Griffin and the BNP were openly avowed followers of Adolf Hitler, and if they met together in public to listen to the webcasts of Harold Covington, they would probably be more left alone than they are. They are persecuted for their opinions on race and immigration. But they are persecuted still more because of all else they oppose or stand for. For all it did badly in the elections of May 2010 (in terms of seats—as two left wing blogs perceptively noted here and here, it did strikingly well in terms of votes) the BNP remains the one possible voice for working class dissent from the established order of things.
And though unfair in itself, what is being done to the BNP should make any reasonable man worried about the future of England. Anyone who looks at the various manifestos and pronouncements of the BNP will see a party that claims to believe—and possibly does believe—in freedom of speech and association, in trial by jury, and generally in constitutional government as this has always been understood in England. It does not even advocate compulsory repatriation of those non-whites who are legally here. Whatever it may or may not believe in private, the BNP leadership is very distant in what it says from the Hitler-loving caricatures shown in the MainStream Media.
But destroy the BNP, and the result will not be a vacuum. Other movements will emerge. These will be less interested in organising to win elections and debates than in arguing their case on the streets. Already, there is an English Defence League that has no apparent interest in electoral politics. This is almost certainly less thuggish than the ruling class and the MSM claim it to be. Equally, though, it is less constitutional in its aims and methods than the BNP. And the English Defence League may be only the beginning of the next stage in working class dissent from the established order of things.
Until modern trip switches (circuit breakers) became the norm, household wiring in England was protected from overheating by wired fuses. Each ceramic fuse contained about an inch and a half of wire to a stated ampage. This connected power as it came into a property to one ring circuit. Any power surge or appliance failure would result in immediate burning out of the fuse. The fuses were deliberately the weakest point in the whole wiring system. One reason they have now been replaced with trip switches is because many people were in the habit of replacing fuse wires with nails. This meant that fuses never blew—instead, houses burned down.
What the British State is doing to the BNP is the political equivalent of sticking a nail in the fuse box. The destruction of the BNP will buy a few more years of life for the politically correct fantasy of England as a country of enlightenment and universal love.
What may follow is well enough known to any student of history.
Dr. Sean Gabb [Email him] is a writer, academic, broadcaster and Director of the Libertarian Alliance in England. His monograph Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back is downloadable here. For his account of the Property and Freedom Society's 2008 conference in Bodrum, Turkey, click here. For his address to the 2009 PFS conference, "What is the Ruling Class?", click here; for videos of the other presentations, click here.